Stockholm is a stunningly beautiful city made up of 14 islands, crisp air, clean water, and emerald forests. It's not only the greenest city in Europe but one of the most trendsetting in the world of fashion and design. The Swedes have a knack for designing simple, beautiful, and functional products and interiors that have taken the world by storm (think Ikea and H&M). Extremely cold winters here with few hours of daylight mean cafe culture is down to a science. Fika, coffee accompanied by pastries, is a daily ritual here and they are one of the most avid coffee drinking cultures in the world. Swedes take their food seriously and have days dedicated to both waffles and cinnamon buns! They are a polite, outdoorsy, and balanced culture that love a good session in the sauna....my kind of people.

MORNING:

* This is an interactive Google map. Click each icon A-F for location title. Click the icon in the top left corner for full list of stops.  Follow the blue walking path for the most interesting route. *If you're having trouble viewing this map click here. 

A. Vurma

Address: Hornstull location - Bergsunds strand 31

Hours: Daily from 9AM - 7PM

Website: www.vurma.se

Start your day on the trendy island of Södermalm at Vurma. Inside you will find a wonderful mix of colour and pattern and the buzz of a hip crowd. If it's a nice day, it's lovely to sit outside on the colourful row of benches and people watch. There is a wonderful selection of breakfast options here but you may have to ask someone to decipher the chalkboard menu. Swedes are amazingly fluent in English so someone should be able to help! You could also just do as I did and point at the most delicious looking rhubarb crumble pie and go with that.....yes for breakfast...you're on vacation.

B. Granit

Address: Långholmsgatan 36 117 33 Stockholm

Hours: (M-S)10AM - 5PM (Su) 12PM - 5PM

Website: www.granit.com

Next head to Granit, a home store with the quintessential Swedish aesthetic. It's products are made with sustainable materials and they stick to a neutral palette. They particularly shine in the storage department with jars, baskets, and bins in every shape and size. Stop here for some great organization inspiration and a true taste of the Swedish home.

C. Katarina Kyrka

Address: Högbergsgatan 13, 116 20 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F)11AM - 5PM (S-Su) 10AM - 5PM

Continue on to Katarina Kyrka, a beautiful yellow church built in the baroque style. This church has burned down not once but twice! The last fire was in 1990 so it's a relatively new structure modelled after the original from 1723. Be sure to step inside and check out the impressive organ on the second level.

D. Coffice Kaffebar

Address: Tjärhovsgatan 5 116 21 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F) 7:45AM – 6:00PM, (S-Su) 10AM - 5PM

Website: coffice.coop/en/

Take a coffee break at Coffice (Cafe + Office), a fun meeting place for work or for pleasure. The cafe was started by Combine Architects to create a different working culture and urban venue outside of the office. Two private meeting rooms can be booked by individuals or companies in addition to plenty of shared workspace. The Scandinavian industrial style lends itself to a casual and relaxed environment. We wouldn't be here though without the great coffee and snacks they have on offer at decent prices.

 

E. Grandpa

Address: Södermannagatan 21 116 40 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F) 11AM - 6:30PM (S)11AM - 5PM (Su)12PM - 5PM

Website: www.grandpa.se

Head over to Grandpa to check out a curated collection of womenswear, menswear, and home decor. The store itself is a gorgeous mix of old and new; casually cool with something interesting around every corner. Take a browse through the amazing collection of brands like Sandqvist bags, ATP Atelier shoes, and Neuw Denim. Grandpa also has it's own brand and some vintage pieces in the mix.

F. Urban Deli Nytorget

Address: Nytorget 4,116 40 Stockholm

Hours: (Su-Tu) 8AM - 11PM, (W-Th) 8AM - 12AM , (F-S) 8AM - 1AM.

Website: www.urbandeli.org/nytorget/

It's time to stop for lunch and we are going to Urban Deli Nytorget! Half market, half restaurant, this place has a lively atmosphere and a fun interior. I love going to markets in foreign places to learn about the food culture so take a moment to look through the shelves before sitting down to lunch. You might even find some souvenirs to take home! The ever revolving lunch menu has things like pulled pork, poached cod, weekly salads, and even a weekly vegetarian option. You might have to wait a few minutes for a table in this popular spot but there's plenty to look at and it's worth the wait.

AFTERNOON:

* This is an interactive Google map. Click each icon A-H for location title. Click the icon in the top left corner for full list of stops.  Follow the blue walking path for the most interesting route. *If you're having trouble viewing this map please click here. 

A. Walk through Gamla Stan

After lunch take a walk through the old town on the island of Gamla Stan. I hope you'll be in Stockholm for a few days because this will just be a quick taste of the area and is worth coming back to. Follow the routes shown on the map and explore the winding cobblestone streets with their mix of red, gold, and copper buildings. This area has so much charm that it deserves a guide of its own. I plan to be back ;). Continue your walk over the bridge and into Kungsträgården. Notice the Opera House on your left as well as the beautiful red church, St. Jacobs. Continue past the park to the luxury department store NK Stockholm.

B. Design House at NK Stockholm

Address: Hamngatan 18-20, 111 47 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F)10AM - 8PM (S)10AM - 6PM (Su)11AM - 5PM

Website: www.nk.se

NK Stockholm is a magnificent art nouveau style department store reminiscent of those in major shopping capitals like Paris and New York. It was built in 1915 by a leading architect of the time, Ferdinand Boberg, and is now one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Stockholm. Feel free to check out the different floors but make sure you head downstairs to the home section where you will find Design House, the publishing house for Scandinavian design. This is not to say that they publish designers in magazines but more that they help develop and produce industrial designer's ideas to create a collection of the best products Scandinavia has to offer. They invite designers old and new to bring ideas to the table and from there they choose products that add something new to the genre with personality and character. Check out their collection at their flagship store here in NK and continue to follow them online for inspiration!

 

Continue your walk and enjoy some of the architecture in Normalmstorg square. I particularly liked the style of this little brasserie Vau de Ville. This square holds the bank where a hostage situation led to the psychological phenomenon 'Stockholm Syndrome'. It also holds the beautiful Nobis Hotel and a mix of Swedish flagships that we will explore now!

C. Filippa K

Address: Biblioteksgatan 2, 111 46 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F) 10AM - 7PM, (S) 10AM - 5PM, (Su) 12AM-5PM

Website: www.filippa-k.com/en/

Step into the world of Stockholm based, Filippa K. Now a successful brand worldwide, they offer effortless, essential garments with clean design and high quality. This aesthetic is mirrored in the design of the store; simple yet relevant, something that will stand the test of time. As with many other Swedish companies, Filippa K takes a holistic approach to their business with sustainability as a key part of their vision.

 

D. Hope Flagship

Address: Smålandsgatan 14, 111 46, Stockhholm

Hours: (M-F) 10AM - 7PM (S) 10AM - 5PM, (Su) 12PM - 5PM

Website: hope-sthlm.com

Hope is another Swedish brand that I hadn't heard of before visiting their flagship in Stockholm. I was really impressed with their self-described low key, raw and authentic style. It's the well dressed but "I'm not trying too hard" look most people strive for. The traditional men's work wear inspiration is evident in their tailored and loose fitting looks for both men and women. Strong details and fine materials make their pieces worth the investment. The store design itself is quite masculine and couldn't be truer to the brand. I love to see strongly identifiable brands and they have achieved that on all fronts at Hope.

E. Marimekko

Address: Norrmalmstorg 4, 111 46 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F) 10AM–6:30PM (S) 10AM–5PM (Su) 12PM-4PM

Website: www.marimekko.com

Marimekko is the Finnish force behind some of the most iconic patterns in the world of fashion and design. Their brightly coloured yet simple prints, are internationally recognized and bring with them an energy and playfulness; the happiest prints imaginable. Marimekko has always been fueled by an emotional creative process that at times, they say, can become contradictory. This freedom to create without boundaries distinguishes them in a world of companies that stay inside the box. Step into their Stockholm store to discover all of the wonderful garments and home furnishings. This brand particularly lends itself to children and they have the most adorable collection for the wee ones in your life.

F. Acne Studios

Address: Norrmalmstorg 2, 111 46 Stockholm

Hours: (M-F) 10AM - 7PM (S) 10AM - 5PM, (Su) 12PM - 5PM

Website: www.acnestudios.com

Of all the boutiques in the square you MUST stop into Acne's flagship store. The collection ranges from well tailored classics to more unique high fashion pieces and the store is a beautiful mix of classic architecture and modern displays. Fun Fact: The store is housed in what used to be a bank....remember when we were talking about Stockholm Syndrome before.....this was the bank where the heist took place. Acne has an interesting story because it started out as an ad agency. One event involving free jeans lead to the creation of a worldwide fashion powerhouse....the power of marketing is real!

 

 

G. Moderna Museet

Address: Skeppsholmen, Stockholm. See Map.

Hours: (M) Closed, (T) 10AM-8PM, (W-Th) 10AM-6PM, (F) 10AM - 8PM, (S-Su) 10AM-6PM

Website: www.modernamuseet.se

Head over to the island of Skeppsholmen to check out the Museum of Modern Art. Here you will see works from Picasso, Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp as part of the permanent collection. Outside there is also a sculpture collection to check out currently including the Maman sculpture pictured left by Louise Bourgeois. The building itself is beautifully designed in a minimalist style with an interesting book store and funky cafe.  Fun Fact: In 1993, six works by Picasso and two by Georges Braque worth over 60 million dollars were stolen from the museum when thieves chiseled through the roof! Only a few of the works have since been recovered. 

G. Arkitektur Museet

Address: Skeppsholmen, Stockholm. See Map.

Hours: (M) Closed, (T) 10AM-8PM, (W-Su) 10AM-6PM.

Website: www.arkdes.se

The Architecture and Design Museum is located in the same building as the Modern Art Museum and I recommend getting a combined pass to both. The museum holds meeting spaces as well as exhibit halls to showcase the latest in architecture and design with a key focus on sustainable design. They have taken on the mandate to educate the public on sustainable practices as they relate to architecture and design. Their goal is to create a society in which future generations can meet their needs without jeopardizing our common resources.

H. Meatballs For the People

Address: Nytorgsgatan 30, 116 40 Stockholm

Hours: 11AM - 8PM Daily

Website: meatball.se

It's time to trek back to Södermalm for dinner! Walk back through Gamla Stan, this time taking a different path and passing through the main square, Stortorget.

When in Sweden, you eat meatballs for dinner! What better place than Meatballs for the people! That's you! I recommend the classic meatballs served with mashed potatoes and sweet but tart lingonberry sauce. Wash it down with one of the beers on tap and you have yourself a great little meal. The atmosphere in here is classically Swedish; cozy, cool and casual! 

I. Fotografiska Museet

Address: Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 116 45 Stockholm

Hours: Daily from 9AM - 11PM

Website: fotografiska.eu

After dinner walk over to one of the most incredible museums I have ever been to, the Photography Museum. They hold four major exhibitions every year featuring prominent photographers from around the world like Annie Leibovitz, Martin Parr, and Andres Serrano. The exhibit space was mostly dark and the luminous photographs jumped off the wall. Their belief is that photography is an art form with a bright future and they hope to showcase the existing and emerging talent in the photography world. Documenting our history and capturing the beauty of the moment is after all, an important part of our lives. Once you are finished exploring the photography, head upstairs to the restaurant bar for a cocktail and discuss your favourite pieces. The space is a gorgeous open concept plan with exposed beam ceilings and views over the harbour. Natural finishes and a neutral palette highlight photographs from past exhibits up on the walls. 

Hotel Suggestions:

Budget: Airbnb (live like a local!) (www.airbnb.com) and City Backpackers Hostel (www.citybackpackers.org)

Mid-Range: Nordic Light Hotel (nordiclighthotel.com)

High-End: Miss Clara by Nobis (www.missclarahotel.com) and The Nobis Hotel (www.nobishotel.se)

Splurge: The Grand Hotel (www.grandhotel.se) and Ett Hem (www.etthem.se)

I sincerely hope you enjoyed a designer day in Stockholm!

Skål,